1
   

US-Mexico Controversy About a "Racist" Postal Stamp

 
 
Letty
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Jul, 2005 03:37 pm
I know absolutely nothing about the stamp, fbaezer, except that it is expensive. <smile> It wouldn't go too well in the South, however, but as far as the U.S. is concerned, why should they criticize what Mexico does.

eBrown, I thought that Little Black Sambo was East Indian. Shocked

When I was a pre school kid, my mom bought me Little Brown Cocoa books and I wanted to be that kid.
0 Replies
 
Letty
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Jul, 2005 03:49 pm
Brazilian dance of African origin, 1885, Zemba, from Port. samba, shortened form of zambacueca, a type of dance, probably altered (by influence of zamacueco "stupid") from zambapalo, the name of a grotesque dance, itself an alteration of zampapalo "stupid man," from zamparse "to bump, crash."
Sambo (2)
stereotypical name for male black person (now only derogatory), 1818, Amer.Eng., probably a different word from sambo (1); like many such words (Cuffy, Rastus, etc.) a common personal name among U.S. blacks in the slavery days (first attested 1704 in Boston), probably from an African source, cf. Foulah sambo "uncle," or a similar Hausa word meaning "second son." Used without conscious racism or contempt until circa World War II. When the word fell from polite usage, collateral casualties included the enormously popular children's book "The Story of Little Black Sambo" (by Helen Bannerman), which actually is about an East Indian child, and the Sambo's Restaurant chain, a U.S. pancake-specialty joint originally opened in Santa Barbara, Calif., in 1957 (the name supposedly from a merging of the names of the founders, Sam Battistone and Newell "Bo" Bohnett, but the chain's decor and advertising leaned heavily on the book), which once counted 1,200 units coast-to-coast. Civil rights agitation against it began in 1970s and the chain collapsed, though the original restaurant still is open. Many of the defunct restaurants were taken over by rival Denny's.
sambo (1)
0 Replies
 
Lash
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Jul, 2005 03:49 pm
ebrown_p wrote:
Wow! What an irrelevent, ignorant and offensive statement!

This thread had nothing to do with immigration, and in case you haven't noticed, the vast majority of people in Mexico haven't immigrated.

The fact that you are willing to make you hatred based on one issue, a broad general hatred of Mexicans and a condemnation in unrelated topics is wrong.

Seeing as at least one participant in this thread is a Mexican citizen, your attack a personal one.

Walter--

I'm glad you noticed I'm not racist. I can't stand someone who judges another person by the color of their skin.

Tsk on the knee-jerk assumption. Why did no one ask me how I could come to such a conclusion before making hysterical judgement about what I said...?

I read a couple of articles about the stamps. The articles I read ALL said the minute the American complaints came in, Mexicans rushed out and started buying up stamps like they were hot cakes. It was attributed BY THE WRITERS that anger over immigration set off the stamp-ede.

BTW, how is what I said even attributed to racism?

I liked Little Black Sambo as a child. However, I think we all know, even if we liked these characters, their strereotypical appearance is insulting to blacks. Isn't it them who should decide if the stamps are offensive?

I won't wade in on that. But, immigration IS widely attributed as the impetus for the run on the stamps.
0 Replies
 
Lash
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Jul, 2005 03:51 pm
Ipsofacto, that would make ebrown ignorant.

How insane for you to say I hate Mexicans. You don't have A CLUE of what you're talking about. You don't know what I think about immigration obviously, or you wouldn't have said such tripe.
0 Replies
 
Piffka
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Jul, 2005 04:15 pm
Yeah, Letty, they are kind of expensive -- 78-92 cents each depending on the exchange rate. From what I could figure in trying to read the official postal rates, $6.50 pesos is the least expensive stamp available and would only be used for mail within the country. I have a very, very modest reading knowledge of Spanish and checked this website:
http://www.sepomex.gob.mx/Sepomex/Individual/Tarifas/Tarifa+Nacional/Correspondencia/

I imagine the reason the stamps sold out is that people thought they'd become collector's items... maybe I ought to go check eBay.... yup, there are some for sale.

Here's a photograph of all five in the set:
http://i10.ebayimg.com/03/i/04/6e/7c/5b_1_b.JPG

Quote:
COMPLETE SET OF 5 Memin Pinguin $ 6.50 Peso stamps.
These highly controversial stamps commemorate the famous character Memin Pinguin who first appeared in a 1945's comic book. These five stamps depict a boy drawn with exaggerated features, thick lips and wide open eyes. His speech, appearance and mannerisms are the subject of kidding by white characters (emphasis Piffka) in the comic which is still published in Mexico. Though the Mexican government defends the issue of these stamps, they have caused uproar among activists....


If 750,000 were printed and sold in lots of five, then you'd only need 250,000 purchases to have them sell out. That doesn't sound too excessive. (Maybe it was 750,000 sets?)

I didn't vote but I admit, I find the caricature to be offensive. I do, however, have an old copy of Little Black Sambo and can tell you that the people pictured therein also are (to me) offensive caricatures. What is weird is that tigers figure prominently in the story itself and as there are no tigers in Africa, one can only assume that Little Black Sambo is Asian (as Letty says).

It is a tempest in a teapot, but just shows that the USA is never too busy with its own problems to not get riled up by something Mexico or Canada is doing.
0 Replies
 
Lash
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Jul, 2005 04:17 pm
Walter Hinteler wrote:
Heh, heh, ebrown.

Lash is known to be most anti-racist person here on A2K!

She would never do such, what you wrote there - besides, she knows what she writes, since:

Lash wrote:
Unlike a lot of rabid liberal partisans here, I don't get my material from blogs or biased writers. I read the straight news from a few sources.

The L.A Times. Two articles.

The WH did give an opinion, but then said it is an internal issue for Mexico. The "black" groups, however, are in high snit.
0 Replies
 
Letty
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Jul, 2005 04:32 pm
Well, Piffka, I think we're being ignored. Razz

It doesn't matter, 'cause I didn't vote either. Thanks for the info, gal, and glad to see you back.
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Jul, 2005 04:59 pm
edgarblythe wrote:
When this comic character was originated, such a portrayal of blacks was pretty much universal, in both Mexico and the USA. Many people in those days failed to understand the racist overtones; of these, the ones that remember still don't get it. There is a bit of innocence in the not understanding. They can't feel the indignity of such a portrayal, so can't understand a black person's discomfiture. It does not matter that the dialog for this mexican cartoon was sensitive and heartfelt- -the image is derogatory by today's standards. I would not go to Mexico to preach morality, but I would not purchase the stamps, either.


Exactly right. Frito Lay retired 'The Frito Bandito' for the same reasons.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Jul, 2005 05:07 pm
Roger
I have a theory that people who genuinely like one another can jest without being mean, and no harm done.
0 Replies
 
Piffka
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Jul, 2005 05:15 pm
Letty wrote:
Well, Piffka, I think we're being ignored. Razz

It doesn't matter, 'cause I didn't vote either. Thanks for the info, gal, and glad to see you back.


LOL, Thanks, Letty... can you believe it??? Ignored! :wink:
0 Replies
 
fbaezer
 
  1  
Reply Mon 4 Jul, 2005 09:59 am
"His speech, appearance and mannerisms are the subject of kidding by white characters".

I've read this in two American papers. As a former reader, I do not recall it.
And the idea of "white characters" strikes me as strange, since the only "white characters" were Ricardito and his parents, all others being mestizo.
(I mean, unless "white" means "non-black").

I wouldn't say the immigration issue by itself was the cause of the uproar and stamp-ede, but the whole of US-Mexican relations.
0 Replies
 
fbaezer
 
  1  
Reply Mon 4 Jul, 2005 10:08 am
On the other hand, yes, there are racial issues Mexico has to deal with.
With Mexican indigenous people, on the first place.
Also with blacks and jews.
Even, in a weird sense, with blond people.

And yes, Memín's figure is a caricature no one would (or should) invent today.
The postal stamp was only giving homage to a Classic, comic books that also helped, in their own limited way, in the fight against discrimination.

Finally, let me remember a chapter of Memín's story, back in 1965 or 1966. The school sends their soccer team (Memín is the star) to a tournament in the US. One afternoon after the game, the kids go to a nearby restaurant and Memín is refused service: the whole team angrily leaves the premises. I don't know if this was true in the US South back then, but that's the idea we had about the States.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 4 Jul, 2005 10:36 am
65 was a time when things were in flux. Even big stars like Belafonte and Sammy Davis Jr were often treated that way back then, though less and less. About four years ago, a friend of mine and an associate went to a bar about two miles from here. The bartender told the associate (Mexican) that it was okay for him to drink, but service to my friend (black) was denied. My friend left without seeming ruffled and not another word was said about it by him. I learned of the incident from his associate.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 4 Jul, 2005 11:13 am
More on this in the San Francisco Chronicle today -

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2005/07/04/MNGDKDISKS1.DTL
0 Replies
 
Lash
 
  1  
Reply Mon 4 Jul, 2005 03:57 pm
I finally remember the quotes that led to my opinion. A couple of Mexican stamp-buyers were interviewed and they alluded to the US hypocrisy re saying anything about racism of stamps while people were "shooting at them" on the borders. They tried to equate us keeping them out with their skin-color, rather than their illegal status. (Which, yeah, I do take as a cop out.)

The stories made it strongly seem that the act of buying the stamps was a message of defiance to the US.

The buying or not buying stamps doesn't make me mad in the least. That's their business. I would have just as soon the WH not said anything--but the fact that they did is no biggie, either. Sort of a non-issue IMO. But, how the Mexicans in the article characterized their "right" to cross our border illegally...that pissed me off.

It'll be interesting to see how his shakes out.
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 4 Jul, 2005 03:58 pm
fbaezer wrote:
On the other hand, yes, there are racial issues Mexico has to deal with.
With Mexican indigenous people, on the first place.
Also with blacks and jews.
Even, in a weird sense, with blond people.

And yes, Memín's figure is a caricature no one would (or should) invent today.
The postal stamp was only giving homage to a Classic, comic books that also helped, in their own limited way, in the fight against discrimination.

Finally, let me remember a chapter of Memín's story, back in 1965 or 1966. The school sends their soccer team (Memín is the star) to a tournament in the US. One afternoon after the game, the kids go to a nearby restaurant and Memín is refused service: the whole team angrily leaves the premises. I don't know if this was true in the US South back then, but that's the idea we had about the States.


Any chance of you mentioning how the comic books helped, Fbaezer?
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Mon 4 Jul, 2005 04:13 pm
dlowan wrote:
Any chance of you mentioning how the comic books helped, Fbaezer?

Check out that SF Chronicle article Osso just linked in, Dlowan
0 Replies
 
fbaezer
 
  1  
Reply Mon 4 Jul, 2005 04:50 pm
In the 60s were in flux just about everywhere. The times, they were a-changing.

Memín was mainstream pop culture. And also, in some ways, popular culture, as opposed to ruling-class culture, very present on TV. It had, somehow, an anti-white-rich sentiment, since the only real mean character was Ricardito's mother, who wanted her blond boy not to blend with lower class children (two mestizos, one black).

During the same decade, another comic book character arose. Calzonzin, a Tarascan indian, from Michoacán.
The comic book, "Los Agachados" (The Ducking Ones) was very political. The cartoonist, Rius, later became a member of the Mexican Workers Party, and was known in Europe for his books: "Marx for Beginners", "Jesus for Beginners", etc.
Calzonzin, a popular hero of his time (even a film was made about him) wasn't handsome, either:

http://clan-pgr.com/etmain/Calzonzin-Cabeza2.gif
0 Replies
 
josantvp
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Jul, 2005 10:03 am
Hi to everyone and first of all I should aware to you that i am from Mexico and my english is not so refine as most of you (probably all of you)

I am very surprised of all the coments i have read in this topic, mostly because they aren't full of anger or irrational elements such as the ones that almost every newspaper in Mexico published after this very stupid incident.

I haven't voted yet because i believe the cartoon wasn't created using racists believes. It was created using a character that is cuban and happens to be black but as many other cartoons this character has exagerated physical elements such as the ears nose and mouth (his mother is also exagerated but not so much)

This cartoon had so much influence some decades ago because it was fun to read and it taught moral values to people in Mexico and other countries that didn't go to school

But the problem isn't the cartoon, it is the moment that it is issued as a Postal Stamp that is POLITICALLY INCORRECT.

As some of you have recalled.. about a month ago our not-so-bright-sometimes president Fox made a statement that said that mexican inmigrants do works that even "NEGROS" reyected..

Maybe for you the problem with that statement is easy to understand - because he is placing al the african-american in the lowest economical step of american society.. if he would say "that even the poorest americans reyected" this hole incident wouldn't happend, but since he screw it up.. we have to live with it..

Also you can add that the presidency never said in public that he was sorry.. he recieved some african-american leaders to cool things down.. but in parallel some of our State Secretaries were saying (in public) that there wasn't anything wrong with that statement..

And conicidentially almost one month later the Mexican Postal Service emmited this stamp.

This is very stupid and this shouldn´t make us proud by saying that US should matter their own buisness.

I wrote an email asking the person in charge of new postal stamp colections in SEPOMEX asking if for some information that could confirm that this is only coincidence. but i havnt' recieve any answer.. so i strongly believe that some stupid guy in SEPOMEX thought it would be a very nice idea to publish that or it will be a very good and reliable buisness, either way it is wrong.


Now some us (mexicans but not including myself) are claiming that if we have to cancel this stamps, that warner bros should do the same with speedy gonzalez.. (very clever from us, don't you think???) Mayby all af this was a conspiracy to kill Speedy Gonzalez (since everything is a conspiracy in mexico right now)
0 Replies
 
fbaezer
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Jul, 2005 10:35 am
Hi, jos. Welcome to A2K.
I agree with your comments about the incident.

And don't worry about the English. Most grammar and spelling mistakes here are made by 'Murricans, Brits and them Aussies from DownUnder.
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

2016 moving to #1 spot - Discussion by gungasnake
Black Lives Matter - Discussion by TheCobbler
Racism? - Question by The UPS Man
Is 'colored people' offensive? - Question by SMickey
Obama’s Black Skin Privilege - Discussion by coldjoint
Obama, a Joke - Discussion by coldjoint
The Day Ferguson Cops Were Caught in a Bloody Lie - Discussion by bobsal u1553115
The ECHR and muslims - Discussion by Arend
Atlanta Race Riot 1906 - Discussion by kobereal24
Quote of the Day - Discussion by Tabludama
 
Copyright © 2019 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 06/16/2019 at 04:32:18